A small scandal-that-never-really-was erupted when motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden’s remarks were mistranslated last week. Hayden had commented that “it is a shame” (meaning “it is a pity”) fellow racer Casey Stoner is leaving the Ducati team for the Honda team in 2011. However, his words were translated into Italian and then back into English as “it is shameful,” a much more harsh and judgmental phrase. This was very similar to many of the 2010 World Cup Translation Bloopers.
Translation errors are not new to racing or motorcycles. According to Engrish.com, instructions for a Chinese scooter were once mistranslated into broken English as:
“Operating Instructions for Motorcycle…
“When driving please you keep the relaxing moon and wear comfortable clothes, obey the traffic rule and prohibit making the moon impatient…”
According to EngrishFunny.com, toy motorcycle carrying the name of Jesse James included the following phrase on its colorful package:
“All kinds of toys are selected freely by you every styles full wonder full”
Finally, in the 1980s, the New Straits Times noticed a mistranslation of measurements in Malaysia.
“…the 500 cc engine capacity for motorcycles has been stated as 500 kk (kuasa kuda) on the back of the new laminated drivers licenses.
“…the English translation for kuasa kuda is horsepower, which means that motorbikes here can be equipped with engines as powerful as those of jumbo jets…”
Contact Globalization Group for high quality technical translation in many languages and dialects.